Guest Contributor: Larry Amon – President PopCultureTheology.com
Invariably, Trump defenders will hit any criticism of Trump with “nobody’s perfect,” or they may go a smidge deeper with “yeah he has flaws but he’s less flawed than Hillary or the Democrats.”
The main problem with this argument is that this assumes that two things can’t be true at the same time. While there are some mutually exclusive things in this world, such as left is not the same as right, all people can be imperfect, and Trump can still be terrible.
It was the central argument to vote for Trump because he was the lesser of two evils. Those who wield this argument recognize that Trump is evil, but they continue to deny it. Instead, they emphasize how bad the Democrats are. The same so-called conservatives who argued we had to vote for Trump broke their vow to hold him accountable, and if anyone dares to try, they come back with the old “nobody’s perfect” routine.
What Trump’s defenders are really getting at is that the Democrats are so bad we shouldn’t even try holding Trump accountable, because he’s the best we’re gonna get in this binary system. They see criticizing Trump is as being equal to helping the Democrats.
But how weak must Trump be if his supporters need to protect him from valid criticism? Or how strong are the Democrats that any bit of truth telling about Trump gives them such an advantage? If Democrats are as far-left and crazy as we are being told, they can’t be that strong, can they?
If Trump can do no wrong, as his die-hard fans and those who put their faith in politicians claim, then how can we objectively tell if Trump is better than the Democrats? Do we know he’s better because he has the magic “R” after is name? Do we know he’s better because of the lip service he pays to some of the ideas we like? It stands to reason, that at least on absolute conservative principles Democrats will never give lip service to, if Trump does even a small conservative thing, he’s got to be better than a Democrat, right?
There are two problems with this viewpoint. First, not everything is a left/right issue.
Though Democrats appear to be against nearly every common sense solution to America’s problems, they are merely appealing to their base — just as Republicans do. Some examples of “base” issues are: Obama deported more illegals than Trump, Obama didn’t aggressively work to legitimize Kim Jung Un, and Trump may be on course in eight years to spend more than Obama. Clearly, he’s not a fiscal conservative.
With Trump’s history of support on LGBT issues, his multiple affairs, his coarse talk, and his continual funding of Planned Parenthood, despite the lies that he defunded it, it’s clear he’s not a social conservative either. Trump’s definitely not a limited-government conservative with his spending, gun grabbing, and protectionism. But is he more conservative then the Democrats? If you’re honest it’s not an easy call to make no matter how cray-cray the Dems may sound to you.
Second, if we have no objective way to tell how Trump is doing because we’re not allowed to criticize anything he does, how will we ever be able to honestly tell who is worse concerning the things that we care about.
The real problem with the lesser of two evils mindset is that we end up with terrible candidates on both sides. None of the previous Republican presidents or nominees have appeared as boorish as Trump, but they’ve all been progressively more progressive.
Donald Trump, who was a Democrat as recently as 2009, donated to Democrats, was good friends with the Clintons, advocated for giving Nancy Pelosi $1 trillion more than she wanted for infrastructure, and has endorsed gun grabbing red flags laws. And despite these facts, there are those who don’t see him as liberal at all. If anyone questions his track record, we’re simply told, “nobody’s perfect!”
No one who honestly looks at the issues can conclude that Trump is clearly better than the alternative. It’s a close call at best.
Meanwhile, the downward slide continues as we are offered more and more evil candidates … and it will not end well for America.
This is an edited version of Larry’s article. You can read the complete, unedited version here: Pop Culture Theology
Larry Amon is President of Christian Walk Alive. His website, Pop Culture Theology, is a blog dedicated to looking at modern culture and exploring why and how things work the way they do in our society. He covers topics such as film, television, politics, sports and other forms of media and entertainment from a biblical worldview.
Follow him on Twitter @PopC_Theology